A recent study by Different Funds assessed the media’s perception of the venture capital industry and how it influences investor decisions. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the translation.
We asked how to get on the radars of investors, PR experts and the investors themselves. The answers are in this collection.
I am an entrepreneur and I want to fundraise, what should I do to make the investor see me?
It’s easy for investors to get on the radar – you need to have a good pitch deck and remember to send it to investors, business angels, and, of course, take part in pitch sessions. However, the question is different: “How to get on the radar before the pitch session?” How to achieve the FOMO effect (fear of missing out) among investors.
We had cases when we wrote detailed analytical articles on trends in a particular area and did not forget to mention the desired startup, did light interviews, in the spirit of “how we doubled the number of our users in a week”, and also increased the reach of advertising without fear lose a little in lead cost.
Interested and qualified investors follow trends and analytics in the media, Telegram channels (we have a list of about 20 of the most effective and readable among the target audience).
I would highlight the following:
- The Unicorn
- Russian Venture
- Adventureland in Skolkovo
- Startup of the Day (Mountain)
On average, we counted on three touches of an interested investor even before he watched the pitchdeck. Then you will hear the cherished: “Oh, it’s you! I heard about your startup! “
The best way to grab the attention of investors is to create a quality product that they can use themselves (B2C) or their portfolio companies (B2B). Investors trust their portfolio founders (otherwise they would not have invested) and are attentive to their recommendations.
The growth of indirect metrics monitored by advanced funds can also help – for example, at Runa we closely monitor promising open source companies by their activities on Github.
Finally, PR in top tech media also works – for example, after a publication on Techcrunch, startup founders can receive a lot of cold emails from various foundations.
Most often, investors receive information from the business trio: Kommersant, RBC, Vedomosti. The latter, however, began to be called less often, but The Bell sounds more and more often. Vtimes is actively gaining momentum. Among the publications about startups, RB.RU is mentioned more often than others.
Telegram channels are also worth mentioning in the list. RBC Investments has a subscription, for example, “What should an investor follow?”
Three main points that investors look at:
- For an idea. If this is a “hype”, will it not burn out? Is it obvious who will be the buyer of the “idea”? Is the business plan well written? And the most important thing is monetization. 99% of startups fail without a clear monetization plan.
- The team. Investors look generally at the professionalism of the team and the experience of its members. If there is a person in the team, behind whom there are already successfully implemented projects, the attractiveness of the project increases significantly. How well thought out is the composition of the team as a whole. The CEO of the project is probably one of the highlights.
- On conditions for investors. At what rate of return can an investor enter the project? How long does a startup plan to work with an investor? How will an investor get an exit and will there be such an opportunity? At what stage will this be possible?
- What pain is being solved. Where is the confidence that the pain is real?
- Are there already pilot projects?
- What market (geographically) are you going to sell to? How can this be realized?
- Goal. Why do founders create a company? To own / manage or sell it?
In addition, it is very important how openly the company is ready to show its numbers, and most importantly, can it confirm them? Is there an external assessment?
Do not forget about the information field around the project. A competent PR will not only attract customers for your product, but will also help in finding investors. The main thing is to reflect the necessary messages in your communication.
Helping investors talk about the investments they make, I noticed that first of all they pay attention to such indicators as the personality of the founder and the team, market capacity, technology scalability and, of course, the financial performance of the company and possible risks.
Investors can be found in closed chats / groups, in accelerators, before the pandemic, they often came to Forbes conferences. For example, I met Mikhail Kuchment at the DLD conference in Munich. He is known to be an active investor. In my opinion, the best acquaintance is through the network. At the same time, if they write about you in the media, then you can bet on appearing in Techrunch, Crunchbase, WSJ VC Pro newsletter, etc.
In fact, we (and most investors) invest in startups recommended by other investors (partners / experts / founders of portfolio companies), so the best option is to find mutual acquaintances and a warm intro.
In addition, of course, after meeting each investor goes to look at the company’s profile in crunchbase, the company’s website and generally looks where and in what context the company is mentioned and how relevant the information is.
A common practice for investors when choosing a project is to study everything that has been written about it in the public space. First of all, we are interested in metrics and indicators by which the viability of the product is visible: financial part, quality, level of user engagement. In addition, investors are interested in the ratings of large research companies, for example, many follow Gartner.
You can draw attention not only through the media, but also through social networks — investors actively communicate on Facebook and LinkedIn. I recommend taking part in events more often, for example, StartUp Village or Open Innovation. Most of them have now gone online, now you can participate without interrupting production and buying tickets.
After listening to the speaker, look for him on social networks, add him and the persons mentioned in the speech. In this way, you will build your business network of useful contacts.
If your startup has no revenue yet, then it is almost useless to show it to investors in Russia. The exception is deeptech, but here, too, the product should be presented in an accessible way. In the event that your project is already massively attracting users and / or earning money, then participate in various pitch sessions, preferably those organized by investor communities rather than corporations.
Direct mailing also works well if you are sending the teaser to a specific decision maker. Start with opinion leaders – super-angels, managing partners of well-known funds. To get the attention of such a person – 50% of the success in collecting the round.
Cover photo: pixabay.com